A comparison of acute hospital charges after tubular versus open microdiskectomy

Kevin S. Cahill, Allan D. Levi, Matthew D. Cummock, Wensheng Liao, Michael Y. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine if tubular microdiskectomy is associated with differences in hospital charges compared with open microdiskectomy. Methods: A retrospective review of patients who underwent tubular microdiskectomy or open microdiskectomy performed by the senior authors from 2007-2010 was performed. The primary outcome was inflation-adjusted total hospital charges for each procedure using itemized charge data obtained from the hospital finance department. Secondary outcomes included length of stay, complications, and operative times. Results: There were 76 eligible patients (33 open microdiskectomy and 48 tubular microdiskectomy) identified during the study period. The mean total charge was $27,811 (standard deviation $11,198) in the open group compared with $22,358 (standard deviation $8695) in the tubular group. Total charges in the tubular group were on average $5453 less than in the open group (P = 0.02). There were no significant differences in operative times or complications. Length of stay was significantly shorter in the tubular group (mean 1.5 days open vs. 0.9 days tubular, P = 0.01). Conclusions: This analysis revealed significantly lower acute hospital charges associated with tubular microdiskectomy versus open microdiskectomy at an academic tertiary care hospital. These differences appear to the related to decreased use of postoperative resources in the tubular group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-212
Number of pages5
JournalWorld neurosurgery
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Hospital charges
  • Lumbar disk herniation
  • Minimally invasive spine surgery
  • Tubular microdiskectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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